Diabetes: Part 7 of 12 ~ Diet Therapy in Managing Diabetes

One of the most successful treatments in combating type 1 and type 2 diabetes is diet.  Restricting carbohydrates of all sorts in favor of high-protein and fatty foods is one of the first dietary strategies; but with disastrous results to the long-term health of diabetics because it carried severe consequences to cardiovascular and kidney health.  Eating the right type of oils promotes proper insulin action.  Any diet that severely restricts beneficial oils would ultimately fail.

energybalance_calories_chartIf you need to increase your caloric intake, try to get the extra calories you need by increasing the number of servings of vegetables, nuts, and legumes, as these are the best foods for improving blood sugar control.

It is very important not to overcook vegetables.  Overcooking not only will result in loss of important nutrients; it will also alter the flavor of the vegetable.  Whole grains provide substantially more nutrients and health-promoting properties.  Whole grains are a major source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium and other minerals, and B vitamins.  Diets rich in whole grains have been shown to be helpful in both prevention and treatment of diabetes, but they must have a low glycemic load below 20.  It is not recommended to use canned vegetables or fruits, but canned beans retain their fiber content and anticancer flavoids.

Fruits are a rich source of many beneficial nutrients, and regular fruit consumption has been shown to offer significant protection against diabetes and other chronic degenerative conditions, including cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and strokes.  Macadamia nut oil is the best cooking oil, but olive oil is great for sauteed vegetables while canola oil is usually best for baked goods because it has the least “nutty” flavor.  Coconut oil is also ver stable in cooking and is fine to use in small quantities.

There a lot of people allergic to dairy or lack the necessary enzymes to digest dairy products.  For those that do not consume dairy products, they should take a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula that provides sufficient levels of calcium.

Achieving optimal daily blood glucose measurements and hemoglobin A1C levels ensures a longer, healthier life for people with type 1 diabetes.  Diet and intensified insulin therapy is crucial.  Clinical studies have shown impressive results in improving blood sugar control for people on diets high in fiber and low in glycemic load.  Diet is a key therapeutic area in type 2 diabetes.  Dieting alone can often be effective as the sole factor in treating and reversing type 2 diabetes.  High intake of dietary fiber of the soluble type, above the level recommended by ADA, improves glycemic control, decreases hyperinsulineHEPApr2013mia, and lowers plasma lipid concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes.

One of the best things that a person with diabetes can do is to take a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula.  Taking a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement has shown to boost immune function and reduce infections in diabetics.  Chromium is vital to proper blood sugar control, as it functions in the body as a key constituent in the glucose tolerance factor.  Chromium works closely with insulin in facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells.  Without chromium, insulin’s action is blocked and glucose levels are elevated.  By substituting  the diet with chromium in type 2 diabetes, it has been shown to decrease fasting glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Vitamin C is vital for wound repair, healthy gums, and the prevention of easy bruising.  Vitamin E in a natural form  (d-) functions primarily as an antioxidant in protecting against damage to the cell membranes.  Niacin is an essential component of the glucose tolerance factor, making it a key nutrient for hypoglycemia and diabetes.  Vitamin B6 is critical in maintaining hormonal balance and proper immune function and offers significant protection against the development of neuropathy.

Part 8: Natural Products for Type 1 Diabetes

Recommended reading: How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes with Natural Medicine (Michael Murray, N.D., Michael Lyon, M.D.)

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